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Teenager who slashed 7-year-old girl’s throat in playing field is jailed.


Teenager jailed for life for killing Katie Rough, 7, then slashing her throat
A teenager who killed a seven-year-old girl in a park has been given a life sentence and ordered to be detained for a minimum of five years by a judge who said it was a ‘truly exceptional case’.

Katie Rough died after she was smothered by the 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named and was 15 at the time, and then slashed with a Stanley knife in a park in York, in January.


The defendant, who admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility at a previous hearing, appeared by video-link at Leeds Crown Court as Katie’s family looked on from the jury box.

The teenager sat with her head down, clutching a soft toy, throughout the hearing.

She was flanked on screen by a court usher and a youth team leader who confirmed the girl’s name when she was asked to identify herself by the judge, Mr Justice Soole.

The judge told her: ‘The gravity of the offence of killing a small child speaks for itself.’

He said: ‘The level of danger to the public is high.

‘In the circumstances of your continuing silence, the critical question is whether there is any reliable estimate as to how long that danger will continue.’


Katie was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a field in the Woodthorpe area of York on January 9 and did not respond to frantic attempts to revive her.

But a judge heard earlier this year that she actually died from being smothered by her teenager attacker.

At that earlier hearing, the court heard that the teenager was found standing in a cul-de-sac in a York suburb, covered in blood and carrying a blood-stained Stanley knife as she rang 999 to tell police what she had done.


The judge was told she may have been trying to prove Katie was not a robot as she had ‘irrational beliefs’.

He heard that the girl began suffering from mental health problems more than a year before the killing.


Prosecutors said she had reported delusional thoughts as well as depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

They said the girl had talked of being convinced that people ‘weren’t human and were robots’.

The previous hearing was told that the girl became distressed when one doctor asked her later ‘whether she killed Katie to test whether she was a robot’.


Nicholas Johnson QC, defending, told the last hearing it may be that his client was ‘driven by the irrational belief (Katie) may not have been human and needed proof of this’.

He said the teenager had thoughts that people around her ‘may not be human and may be controlled by a higher and hostile force’.


The barrister said his client had posted a picture on social media two days before the killing with a concerning message.

He said: ‘She was clearly crying out for help and support.’

The girl denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility at the hearing in July.

This plea was accepted by the prosecution.








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